Dual Applications on Input Units

Dual Applications on Input Units

  1. daniel

    Wired Input Units recently began to support Dual Applications. This feature allows the unit to operate on a Primary Application and a Secondary Application, and keys can be associated with one Application or the other.

    One of the biggest benefits is that you no longer have to put all your Groups on the Lighting application in order to control them from a unit.

    The supporting Input Units and their firmware versions are :

    • KEYM2, KEYM4, KEYM6, KEYM8 (1.6.00)
    • KEYB2, KEYB4, KEYB6 (1.6.00)
    • KEYA1, KEYAV2, KEYA3, KEYAV4, KEYA6, KEYA8 (1.6.00)
    • KEYML5, KEYBL5 (2.0.00)
    • KEYDL4 (2.0.00)
    • Also, Wireless Input-Output Units (see next section "A Note About Wireless Units")
    The C-Bus Toolkit software as of version 1.3.0 supports the dual application capability of these units.

    A Note About Wireless Units

    The Wireless Input-Output Units have always had Dual Applications, and the support for this has been in C-Bus Toolkit since version 1.1.4. The interface is a little different (as you'll see in the following screenshot) but the principle is the same and the majority of this tutorial can be applied to Wireless Units too.


    Description of Dual Applications


    The first and most important change to the Input Unit dialogs is the addition of the Secondary Application to the Unit Identification tab. You must select a Secondary Application here before you can use the Dual Application features of the dialog.

    Having done that, the most obvious change is the additional of the colourful Key Application Buttons to the top part of the form. These indicate the Application with which the Key is associated :

    • a green "P" means Primary
    • a blue "S" means Secondary
    • a red "M" means Multiple, or in other worlds, the Key controls Groups in both the Primary and Secondary Applications

    You can hover the mouse cursor over each button to discover the currently selected Application and the effect of clicking on it.

    In reality, Applications are associated with Blocks, not Keys. Looking at the Blocks tab :


    A new column (marked in red) indicates the Application each Block is assigned to.

    The Key Application Buttons actually follow the Block Applications selected, but the relationship is largely two-way as the Key Application Button can (in most cases) change the Block Applications as well.

    Note that in addition to having Multiple Groups on a Key (Key 6, marked in blue) you can now have Multiple Groups from Multiple Applications on a Key (Key 5, marked in pink). This gives you the flexibility of using more advanced programming approaches.

    If you're still unsure how Dual Applications work, the following Example Scenario will step you through the whole process.

    Example Scenario

    For this Example, we'll set up our lounge room as a home theatre by programming an 8 key Reflection Unit with two applications, Lighting and Curtain Control.

    Our KEYA8 unit comes with default factory programming in it, because we just added it to the database. Let's open the unit in Toolkit.


    There's been a couple of changes from previous versions of Toolkit. On the Unit Identification tab there are now two applications. The Primary Application is "Lighting" and the Secondary Application is "Unused". Furthermore, every key now has its own Application Button, all of which are set to the green "P", or Primary Application.

    This means that the unit, through its default programming, will operate exactly as the single-application units used to.

    Let's add some standard lighting groups to the first four keys :


    Note at this point that clicking on the Key Application Buttons does not do anything, though you can hover over them to identify the Primary Application. This is because the unit is still operating in Single Application mode.


    Before we proceed, there's an important point you need to be aware of. The dialog makes it seem as though the Keys are assigned to an Application, because this makes the unit easier to program, but it's not strictly true. It is actually the Blocks which are assigned to an Application.

    If you look at the Blocks tab, you'll see a new Application column, where each block can be assigned to the Primary or the Secondary Application.


    The Key Application Buttons actually take their cue from the Application assigned to the Block(s) for that Key. It may seem a little strange at first but we'll give you an opportunity to see how it works soon.

    Let's continue.

    To place the unit into Dual Application mode, you need to select a Secondary Application. You could choose from an existing application, but lets create a new one now. In the Unit Identification tab, click the green plus button next to Secondary Application.


    Enter the details in the Add Application Dialog and click OK :


    On returning to our unit dialog we see :


    Note that the Key Application Buttons have "popped out" a little, to show they are now pushable. This is also explained when you hover over them.


    Time to set up a key on the Curtain Control Application. Click on the round Key Application Button alongside the "Key 5 Group".


    It will change to a blue S (If you get the message "Some groups do not exist on this application. Create the missing groups?" then choose "No"). If you now hover over the button it tells you that the Secondary Application is selected. You'll also see that the Groups combo box for this Key is empty since we only just created the Curtain Control application :


    Click on the green plus sign above the "Key 5 Group" field to add a group to the Curtain Control Application :


    And enter the details :


    We'll select this Group on Key 6 as well, and set up some custom microfunctions for an imaginary curtain controller device.

    NOTE: This is an example only, not an actual implementation, and the correct application notes and other resources should be consulted when working with blind and curtain controllers!

    The microfunctions :


    And the blocks :


    If you're following this tutorial in practice, save your changes by clicking the Apply button. Now's a good time to experiment with the Key Application buttons and the Blocks tab to see the interactions between the two.

    Here's a fun one - on the Blocks tab, select the checkbox for key 6 and block 4. Check it out, red M&M!


    Why? The button is now indicating Multiple applications, because Key 6 has been assigned to blocks 4 and 5 which are on the Primary and Secondary applications. Hovering over the button gives you the details.


    This is a good indication of how it's really the Applications assigned to the Blocks that drive the Key Application Buttons, though most of the time you'll find it quick and easy to work with the Key Application Buttons directly.

    Cancel the dialog after you have finished playing. You can then open this unit as often as you like with your original saved state and continue your exploration of the Dual Application feature.

    This is only a basic scenario but I hope it gives you some ideas!